As part of the pact, companies are required to inform their employees and stakeholders of relevant anticorruption laws and all parties agree to comply in full with business-related legislation. JBS said the company has implemented training courses and widespread disclosure of its policies, such as the Product Donation Policy, Sponsorship Policy, a new Global Code of Conduct, a Code of Conduct for Business Partners and other programs aimed at building a compliance culture within JBS, its partners and stakeholders.
The Ethos Institute, a public interest organization, developed the initiative which helps companies take more socially responsible steps to manage their businesses. Marcelo Proença, who leads the JBS Compliance Dept., led the process of Joining the Ethos Institute pact.
In a statement, JBS said, “…By joining Ethos, JBS will also be able to liaise with the organization and its members, sharing experiences on public policies and best practices addressing social responsibility and become a leading proponent of the issues involved. The company is therefore increasing its efforts to bring these issues to the attention of everyone it interacts with, including shareholders, staff, consumers, suppliers and communities.”
Executive leadership within JBS has worked to restore the company’s image following the high-profile arrests of brothers Wesley and Joesley Batista on charges of insider trading and accusations of paying bribes to government officials, including Michel Temer, the current president of Brazil.
From 2016 through 2017, the Batista name became linked to multiple criminal investigations stemming from that initial blockbuster Operation Car Wash probe. One such investigation was “Operation Weak Flesh” which exposed bribes paid to food safety inspectors in Brazil.
Court documents would later show that Joesley Batista admitted making illegal payments to Temer and former Presidents Dilma Rousseff and Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. J&F Investimentos issued a statement confirming that undercover recordings taken by Joesley Batista were surrendered to prosecutors as part of the plea deal.
Federal prosecutors also alleged that Joesley and Wesley Batista authorized the sale of millions of JBS shares weeks before submitting evidence of bribes paid to nearly 2,000 Brazilian officials, knowing that the disclosures would cause the company’s share price to fall. The revelations sparked a sell-off on the Brazilian stock exchange, and trading was suspended temporarily. The Batistas later repurchased the shares at a significantly lower price, according to prosecutors.
Both Batista brothers were released from prison in São Paulo, Brazil.